5:2 versus WW

(2 Posts)
hildainstant Fri 01-Feb-13 13:17:44

Hi, I'm thinking slightly ahead here as I'm still pg but after eating what I want throughout my pregnancy I'm starting to think about weight loss once baby arrives. Don't worry, I'm not talking the day he/she arrives, but once I'm settled into having another baby and feel ready to regain some control in my diet.

So, my question is - I'm expecting that I'll need to loose around 2 stone, would like to do it quickly, and would like some feedback on the 5:2 plan versus WW.

I've done WW before, and have experience of propoints. I preferred the old points system but will go with the flow!! But, I'm intrigued by the 5:2 plan and wonder if I'll see quicker results on it?

Has anyone had experience of both, and what did you think?

Thanks in advance folks!

Ezzza Mon 04-Feb-13 00:51:51

Hi hildainstant, I can't give you a comparison of 5:2 and WW as I haven't done WW since it was just a plain and simple calorie counting plan. From what I've heard from converts from WW to 5:2 the advantage of 5:2 is that they find it much easier to stick to as they only have to restrict their food 2 days a week instead of 7. They have also found that the fasting element of 5:2 has been like someone has pushed a reset button. I have found the same thing (all my previous successful attempts at weight loss have been with calorie counting) on 5:2. I now find that I naturally want to each much less on non-fasting days than I used to eat before I started and I want to make healthier choices, this even though I have never consciously restricted what I eat on non-fasting days. If I want a Macdonalds for lunch followed by a couple of krispy creme donuts and some M&Ms I'll have it. But the thing is, I just don't want it now. (Just typing that sentence gave me a little bit of a nauseated twinge!)

The 5:2 way of eating isn't one of these miracle diets that promises you'll lose 20lbs in a week. It doesn't even promise more rapid rate of loss than traditional diets. My experience of 5:2 is that I've lost weight at pretty much the same rate as I usually do on daily calorie restriction. Others have lost faster, yet others have lost more slowly.

I do understand the desire to lose the weight as quickly as possible. I've always wanted the same in the past because I've known that my willpower would only last so long and I wanted to have lost as much weight as possible before it gave out. Even when willpower was running high I wanted the weight gone as soon as possible so that I could stop depriving myself. With intermittent fasting (which 5:2 is a form of) this urgency to lose the weight as soon as possible has now gone. Of course, to start with I wanted to lose weight quickly, just as I had in the past, but after a few months I realised that on intermittent fasting I didn't feel deprived, I wasn't having to postpone the wine/choc/takeaway/big dinner with friends/etc. until I'd lost more weight because on intermittent fasting I can have all of those things on my non-fasting days anyway. I've lost 1 stone 10 in 5 months so far and I have another 1 stone 6 to go to my ultimate goal. I'm still losing at a rate of a pound or two each week, but I worked out the other day that even if my loss were to slow down to half a pound a week I'll still get to my goal weight by the middle of November. It was only after I worked this out that I realised the urgency to lose weight had gone because I was no longer worried I’d quit the ‘diet’ because intermittent fasting is so easy to stick to. Willpower only has to last one day at a time.

I’d say in terms of rate of weight loss 5:2 and WW might be about the same, but in terms of which plan you’re most likely to stick to long enough to lose all the weight and keep it off for good my view is that 5:2 comes out ahead.

Another advantage of 5:2 over WW is the cost and the how easy it is to get started. Everything you need to know to get started on 5:2 is freely available on the internet, in fact all you need to know is right here: “two days a week eat no more than 500 kcal (600 kcal for men) per day, the other five days of the week eat normally (i.e. don’t binge but don’t try to diet either)”. A day here means a calendar day from waking up in the morning to going to sleep at night, not 24 hours. It really is that simple. Everything else you hear about 5:2 are just tweaks.

Maybe one idea is to have a read of some of the posts on the latest 5:2 thread to get a feel for how other people who are doing it are feeling about it and compare it to how people on the WW thread are feeling about doing that. There is also now a 5:2 maintenance thread started by those who have been doing 5:2 for 6 months now and are near or have reached their goal and are now using 5:2 to maintain their weight and/or for the additional health benefits which some studies have suggested may come from intermittent fasting. I couldn’t find a WW maintenance thread to link to. (Doesn’t mean there isn’t one, just means I couldn’t find one.)

I’m not anti-WW at all, I’m just a huge intermittent fasting convert! If you decide to go for WW you can always have 5:2 as a back-up plan if you find your willpower waning. By the same token, if you try 5:2 and decide it’s not for you you can always go over to WW.

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